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6 Habits of Highly Successful Credit Card Holders

Adopting bad credit habits can undoubtedly plunge you into a cycle of constant stress and financial problems. Luckily, it’s never too late to correct course and whip your credit back into shape. Consider adopting the six habits below from the most successful credit cardholders to manage your credit card debt better. Even if you can't do everyone right now, do what you can.

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Habit #1: Statement Monitoring

Highly successful credit cardholders get in the habit of monitoring their credit card statements. Instead of just paying what they see, they take the time to review the statement and ensure everything is correct. There could be errors and/or fraudulent charges, and you must catch them. If you find any errors, report them to the credit card issuer as soon as possible so you’re not liable. You don’t want to pay for things you didn't purchase.

Habit #2: Pay in Full and on Time

Never want to pay interest on your purchase? Pay your monthly statement on time and in full. Instead of just paying the minimum balance, paying your bill in full can reduce headaches and large interest charges in the future. This can also reduce any late-payment penalties your card issuer may enforce. Another great perk to paying in full and on time is by doing so you are also establishing a positive credit history. According to Bankrate, paying more than 30 days late can bring down your credit score and leave a blemish on your credit report for up to seven years.1 Avoid costly situations by setting up autopay or registering for email alerts with your issuer. 

Habit #3: Track Expenses 

The last thing you want is to be shocked when you open your credit statement. Therefore, you must keep track of your credit expenses. Luckily, many money management apps like Monarch Money and You Need a Budget (YNAB) can help you keep track easily and on the go. Check your expenses routinely to ensure you are within your budget and avoid anxiety once your statement arrives. 

Habit #4: Shop Around for Offers 

Any successful credit card holder is always on the lookout for better offers. Comparing any new offers to the card you already have can never hurt. Look at the advantages and disadvantages and see which card might work better. Some things to compare when shopping around include fees, rewards, credit limits, grace periods, interest rates, how the payments are calculated, etc. 

Habit #5: Establish a Credit Budget

It’s easy to let your credit spending limits get out of hand because you know you won’t have to pay until later. However, this mindset leads to continuous swiping, and you are well above your budget before you know it. The important thing is not the card limit; it’s your own personal limit. Successful cardholders are mindful of their spending and ensure they don’t continuously buy things they can’t afford. 

Habit #6: Find Rewards 

Who doesn’t love getting money back? Seek a credit card that will reward you for being a loyal customer and spending to get the most bang for your buck. For example, don’t just settle on a card that gives 1 percent cash back on everything. Instead, find a card that matches your spending habits. If you travel frequently, get a card that offers travel rewards. If you drive a lot, get a card that offers gas rewards. If you take the time to review your spending habits and do some research, you can have the chance to earn back hundreds of dollars. If you want to keep things simple - go for the citi 2% cashback card - the rewards build up quickly.

Overall, the best rule of thumb for becoming a successful credit cardholder is to avoid spending what you don’t have. Whether you’re a first-time cardholder or have been carrying a card for decades, by following the six habits above, you’ll be well on your way to happy, healthier credit. 

Invest In a Life You Love,

Donovan Carson - founder of Carson Capital



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